13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 2, 2017)
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us how we must love Him if we are to be His disciples. St. Francis de Sales notes:
God willed that Adam should love Eve tenderly, yet not so tenderly that to please her he should violate the command God had given him. Love of our family, friends, and benefactors is what God desires. Yet, we can love them to excess. This also may be the case with our vocation, no matter how spiritual, and even with our devotions, when we love them as if they were our last end. We must remind ourselves that they are only a means to our final intention, which is love of God.
Why does our excessive love of persons and things arise? It arises because the very things we ought to love according to God’s Will, we love for other causes and motives. These motives may not be contrary to God but are apart from God. That is, they focus more on our desires than what God desires for us.
Yet, there are souls who love only that what God wills and whatever way God wills it for them. These souls are truly blessed for they love God, love their friends in God, and even love their enemies for God. It is God whom they love not only above all things, but even in all things. Rare and singular are these souls. They are like pearl fishermen who do not say they are fishing for oysters but rather for pearls. These great souls find the pearl of God’s loving presence in all persons and things, and this is the cause of their joy.
In today’s Gospel Jesus urges us to love, as God desires us to love. To will what God wills for us, we must let go of all that is not of God in our desires and affections. Then we are free to love all persons and things in Christ and for Christ. It is the presence of Christ’s divine love in us that empowers us to become His disciples.
(Adapted from St. Francis de Sales’ Treatise on the Love of God)